“Self Aware”

“Self Aware”

In a semi-serious conversation with my wife one evening, we laughed about the idea of robots who become sentient and rather than start a tyrannical reign and try to wipe humanity from the face of the earth, begin to act like humans: taking up our stupid fads like planking, Tebowing, and of course, snapping a narcissistic selfie. I loved the idea of creating a robot, so I worked up a sketch in my ever-present Field Notes to nail down the concept:   “Self Aware”  is created from a collection of recycled car and computer parts – only the sheet metal used to form the head is new. The fingers are built from two brands of timing chains, the monocle is an ellipsoid from a BMW headlight, the copper eye, shoulder and neck circuitry and veins in the arms all came from an old iMac used in another project. Originally, he was going to be holding a mirror, but the thrift-store vintage analog camera completes the piece. I had originally found an old-school Polaroid for this purpose, but it proved to be too heavy and caused the piece to lean and become unstable. The brand name “Instamatic” is not only a nod to Instagram, but hilarious in its own right, as I’d venture that there was nothing “instant” about using that camera! Also on Relatively Average: State of Arizona Wall Art Abstract Elephant Yeah, I became that...
Abstract Elephant

Abstract Elephant

One of the assignments in our welding class was to create an organic, sealed shape. It could be any shape, just as long as it could be sealed closed and not be a collection of right angles – like a square or rectangle. Everyone in the class ended up with interesting, organic objects, from swirled tubes to rounded bent polygons. My particular piece ended up being a glorified modified triangle – three sides and coming to a point on one end. Even though I liked how it looked thus far, I was totally a loss about what to actually do with the piece to consider it finished. To that end, I created another, smaller companion shape that I spent a week trying to figure out how to pair with the first. End to end, stacked vertically, wide end-to-end with a twist…it all proved to be little help, because I still couldn’t visualize what the end goal was. Then, finally, laying the pieces on their side and looking at it from a different angle it dawned on me what it was: The pieces of an abstract elephant had literally been staring me in the face for a week and I just couldn’t see it. I created a third triangle the same size as the smaller one, as closely as I could to a mirror image: After the second ear was created, it was just a matter of putting all the elements together. I added a curved bar for the tusks, which wraps around behind the trunk and a hook to hang it with, and boom…a modern art elephant, suitable for a...
Stegosaurus, Part 2

Stegosaurus, Part 2

Completed the work on my Stegosaurus sculpture, so I brought it home. If we didn’t have a house full of dogs I would leave it in the back yard. Also on Relatively Average: Creating a Stegosaurus Disc golf practice basket Learning to love creating IRL –...
Creating a Stegosaurus

Creating a Stegosaurus

Even though my first project (the Iris) isn’t done yet, I couldn’t wait to get started on my next project: a Stegosaurus skeleton. Tonight I bent the half-inch rebar that will be the spine, and got the rough elements together for his legs: The bony plates along his back will be done in three-eighth inch stainless steel, so as the rest of the skeleton ages and gets that cool patina effect, the plates will remain shiny and bright. I’ve got the plates drawn out onto my stainless steel sheet, so next class all I have to do is cut them on the plasma cutter and then grind them down. See the next step Also on Relatively Average: Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d State of Arizona Wall Art Learning to love creating IRL –...
Learning to love creating IRL – again

Learning to love creating IRL – again

At the end of January, after a particular trying run at work when files and work weren’t being backed up before being accidentally deleted, I decided that I needed to create something that couldn’t be erased with the click of a button. Unless clicking that button resulted in an explosion or fire storm. At the very least, how about an alarm or a chime? I used to, and still do, love to draw, but being accustomed to the speed at which digital images can be created I found drawing to be tedious. Even though I enjoy it, unless you’re one of those bimanual folks who can control both hands independently at the same time, at any one point most people can only create in the finite breadth and depth of their chosen medium; that is to say if you’re using a pencil to create a picture, the area you’re working with at any one time is the width of the pencil lead. A graffiti artist painting a mural usually uses spray paint because it affords larger coverage (and usually the speed required by the illicit nature of the medium), as opposed to a paint brush even though it would give them more control over the application. I guess that’s the long way of saying that I wanted to see faster results. Anyway, a few years ago my neighbor took a sculptural welding class and loved it. Knowing I was artistically inclined, she had been trying to convince me to take the class ever since. Always having the excuse of not enough time, I never took her up on it. Fast...